The biggest compliment I can pay another person is to describe them as "humane." The word is not commonly used in this way, so I 'm going to need to explore this a little more.
I am obsessed by the human experience. It is the thing that binds us all together, that makes us exceptional as a species. At different times, every single person in the world will experience the same feelings of loneliness, joy, pain and confusion that you have. And so it is that your experience of life has much in common with both a desperate asylum seeker and the richest person in the world. When you realise this, superficial divisions like race, class and gender become nothing more than a distraction. That equality should not exist in every area of life becomes incomprehensible, because no two people can be different in any meaningful way. Any pain experienced by one is shared by us all because at one point it will inevitably be our own.
I believe in this philosophy completely and whole-heartedly, but we all have our lapses. You can call someone driving erratically an idiot, but you've done sillier things before. Some might call a homeless people lazy, but we don't know what led them to that situation. You can call a gay person queer, but they were just born a little different to you. We need to be on our toes anytime we tell ourselves we are different to others in ways that make us feel better than them because it cannot possibly be true.
I come across a strange sentiment every so often that makes me feel really uncomfortable. For want of a better term, I'm calling it downward resentment. Those dole-bludgers. Those refugees. Those single mothers. Those bike riders, even. If anyone finds out what makes people so angry at those less fortunate than themselves, let me know. If you're sleeping in a warm bed each night, have enough money to eat and people that care about you, you'll know that life can be pretty awesome. Why the fuck would you not want that for every single person in the world?
That is humanity. Humanity is understanding that everyone should be equal but knowing that they aren't. Humanity is trying to break down these divisions or, at the very least, not reinforcing them. Humanity is understanding that people make bad decisions and giving them the chance to get themselves back on track. It is accepting that everyone is flawed, including yourself, and trying not to get caught up in petty bullshit that make us all smaller, like road rage or listening to shock-jocks.
I've come across a few people that I would describe in this way. I can think of a few fictional characters that show these characteristics too, perhaps imbued with them by their creators. Humane people are kind and thoughtful by default and do not make a fuss of it. Humane people are happy to meet anyone at any time and get to know them. Humane people listen. Humane people are non-judgemental. Humane people are enthusiastic and want to try new things. Humane people are flexible and forgiving.
I want to be humane. I'm not there yet, but I'm putting things in place. You are on the same journey. All we are is just humans-in-training, until we aren't. But until then, we could all do with projecting a bit more of this each day.